In the last decade, data has changed how the world works. Now, more than ever, businesses, large and small, process significantly copious amounts of data to glean meaningful insights to make better decisions. As a result, data analysis has become one of the highest in-demand jobs, and data analysts are sought after by the world’s largest, reputable organizations.
So what does a data analyst do? Data analysts work with data using techniques from various disciplines to draw conclusions, predict, and increase business performance. Data analysts work with all manner of data for multiple industries like business, finance, science and technology, medicine, Etc. Hence, in this article, we will explore the various reasons one should opt for a career in data analytics.
Benefits of data analytics
Data analytics is essential for companies in this highly competitive world and can help make, or break, a business. Here are a few sectors where data analytics plays an important role:
- Product development: Data analysis enables businesses to discover market trends and understand future outcomes. Analyzing data allows companies to understand the current market situation and change or develop products to meet market needs.
- Targeted content: Understanding customer needs and requirements well in advance makes marketing campaigns customer-oriented. It also helps determine if a particular audience responds well to the campaign and improves the overall efficiency of a company’s marketing efforts. Companies are also able to tailor their advertisements to target a specific audience.
What are the technical skills required to become a data analyst?
There are several skills one must master before taking up career in data analysis. These technical skills include:
- Database tools: The two mainstays in a data analyst’s toolbox include Microsoft Excel and SQL. Although Excel is a preferred tool across industries, SQL can handle larger data sets.
- Programming languages: Knowledge of programming languages like Python and R will enable you to sift through large data sets and analyze complex equations. Though these two languages are among the most common, it would benefit you to skim through the job requirements of a position you’re interested in to determine which programming languages may be the most useful.
- Data visualization: Portraying your discovery in a clear format through charts, graphs, and dashboards are essential. Some tools you can use to do this include Excel, Jupyter Notebook, Tableau, Etc.
Data analyst responsibilities
The primary role of a data analyst is to gather, understand, and interpret data to provide solutions to problems. This role frequently entails communicating the findings to other teams or higher-ups. Some of the tasks usually taken up by data analysts include:
- Analysts collect data by conducting surveys, tracking visitor logs on the company website, and purchasing data sets from data collection specialists.
- They apply policies to ensure that data analyzed by them is secure and private.
- Data collected often contains duplicates and errors. Hence, analysts clean the data by maintaining it on a spreadsheet or through a programming language to ensure that the output gained from the data is accurate.
- Analysts also design the database structure and decide which data to retain. They also choose how specific categories are related to one another.
- Structured data sets are interpreted by analysts to determine patterns and trends, resulting in accurate conclusions or solutions to the problem at hand.
- Analysts must articulate their analytical findings to other teams or senior personnel through charts, graphs, written reports, and dashboards.
- Operational efficiency: Through data analysis, companies can identify potential opportunities and streamline operations to maximize their profits. In addition, it also helps companies identify potential problems and find solutions for the said problems. Companies can understand which of their operations have resulted in the best results and which areas of operation are error-prone or require improvement.
Why pursue a career in data analytics?
As well as analyzing customer trends and satisfaction, data analytics help businesses make better decisions and provide new products and services. Let’s look at some of the benefits of pursuing a career in the field:
- Data analytics is one of the most wanted professions by most companies worldwide, and the scope of opportunities is likely to grow in the coming years.
- Data analysis benefits many industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, finance, education, media, retail, science, Etc. People opting for careers in this field can choose from various industries matching their skills and interests.
- A career in data analytics will enable individuals with a penchant for math and statistics to hone their skills in applied statistics, linear algebra, fundamental analysis, numerical analysis, and graph theory.
- Organizations worldwide are dependent on data analytics. Hence, an individual in the field of data analytics will likely be working with key personnel on different levels of the organization to streamline decision-making processes and act on insights.
Data analytics is a difficult discipline and a challenging field. However, a career in this field will give you the freedom to work in a variety of industries and open doors to other careers. Data analytics is innovating future technologies and is here to stay, hence, a career in this field would benefit you and countless companies.